‘Hoppy’ re­turns to Elkton spot fol­low­ing surgery




— As peo­ple trav­eled into town over the bridge on Bridge Street this week, they may have no­ticed a fa­mil­iar face wav­ing and smil­ing back at them. On Mon­day, Wil­liam “Hoppy” Ham­mond, known to passersby for his daily friendly rit­ual for al­most two decades, re­turned af­ter sev­eral weeks of re­cu­per­at­ing from a Septem­ber knee re­place­ment surgery. While he was gone, Ham­mond also went through phys­i­cal ther­apy and had to be cleared by his doc­tors to drive be­fore he could re­turn. But Ham­mond didn’t like tak­ing such a long break and was eager to re­turn be­cause he missed greet­ing peo­ple com­ing into town and noted that it had been “way too long,” he said.

“(It’s) just won­der­ful, good for the soul,” he said Mon­day. “I missed it, I re­ally missed it. This is fam­ily.”

Dur­ing his tem­po­rary leave, com­mu­nity mem­bers have sent him a “few hun­dred” get well cards, he said. In ad­di­tion to the cards, he even re­ceived a gift bas­ket from the church he at­tends. “I was just so ap­pre­cia­tive,” Ham­mond said. In re­sponse to the cards, he sent thank you cards back to those with re­turn ad­dresses, but there are many more anonymous notes that will never be re­turned, he said.

“I’m re­ally sorry I could’t get back to those with­out re­turn ad­dresses,” Ham­mond said. He said he plans to come back to his spot the rest of the week, de­pend­ing on the weather.

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